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  1. #1

    Abusive Coaches and More . .

    I hope that everyone who gets the Tennis magazine reads the article on page 23, Code of Conduct. This is another example of what goes on with these coaches and these young girls. If you didn't read it, you should. If you don't get this magazine, maybe someone can share it with you or even post some of it here. I don't have the resources right now to do that.

    By the way, that article is about one of the coaches and what he's done to several players. They don't talk about this stuff enough and it should be talked about, even though some of these young players get very intimidated by their coach. Talking about control freaks, yes they are.

    Once again, the USTA is screwing up with the ranking in the Juniors.
    This is one of the problems that happens all the time. Especially when you have one kid who is not training at certain facility (and they are successful) that claim that they raise champions. Because their people, who they consider champions are not winning, they call in and have people jack the
    rankings up (to benefit the juniors that belong to their facility) or just not include tournament results (for individuals who do not belong to their faciltiy)which makes it look like their athletes are better than the rest. There is some sick crap that's going on.

    On another note, someone mentioned to me that they recently traveled overseas and found one coach dragging a junior player by her hair and slapping her in the head because she didn't win a match. This is absurd, but people need to tak about this more and more. It's not just the
    abuse by the obsessive coaches, but some of the other things that
    are going on behind the scenes. This bullsh$t has got to stop.

    One another note, I think it's past due time that some of these players in the pro circuit are drug tested. There are too many of them that are slipping through the cracks on purpose.

  2. #2
    Hi! PowerfulOne it's me again felizdna. What I have seen is the actual parents doing this to their kids being physical and verbally abusive with the young child. And worst seeing their child blantantly cheat and them just sit there and accept it.
    I feel the same way about the usta. For a couple of years I tried to get support from one of their minority programs but was always denied. Yet the a couple of kids that they supported well my son is ranked higher than them.
    I feel a thread of connection to you just by the 2 emails I have read of yours.
    God bless you

  3. #3
    Hi Felizdna,

    You are absolutely correct in your statements. There are many parents who verbally abuse their kids. They are beyond hungry for success. It's one thing to want success and to have success, but it shouldn't be at the abusive expense of a child. The cheating is outrageous. I have seen so much of it happening. Not only do some parents train their kids to cheat, the kids get out there and cheat and argue the point to now end, while cheating on top of it is disgusting.

    Then their are referees who get out there and cheat for the kid simply because they might be playing a minority. It's sad what goes on out there, but it's happening time and time again. The whole system needs to change. But in order for it to change, there needs to be more people who want to change and not so much looking at the color of one's skin, but looking at children as children and trying to raise your child right. This is far more important.

    You talked about getting support. That is another big problem. We have too many children with talent who are not getting the support that they need. Sadly, it's always the rich/wealthy whose children are getting the best. Half the time they end up not being successful in the sport. I blame the people who run these organizations. I know it's nice to have money coming in, but to buy a child's way up the rankings is pretty dirty.

    I admire the parents who have protected their kids from the environment that currently exists and ones that teach them morals and values. This area is lacking big time.

    There are a couple of pros too that I admire who work hard and deserve so much more than they are getting. Hopefully at some point in time the crooked system will change and we may see more and more talented and well-deserved players out there. I can't blame the kids, I blame the adults who are raising monsters.

    PowerfulOne


    Quote Originally Posted by felizdna
    Hi! PowerfulOne it's me again felizdna. What I have seen is the actual parents doing this to their kids being physical and verbally abusive with the young child. And worst seeing their child blantantly cheat and them just sit there and accept it.
    I feel the same way about the usta. For a couple of years I tried to get support from one of their minority programs but was always denied. Yet the a couple of kids that they supported well my son is ranked higher than them.
    I feel a thread of connection to you just by the 2 emails I have read of yours.
    God bless you

  4. #4
    The problem that you're talking about is not an exclusive of USA. Tennis is an expensive sport and if you want to develop players you have to pay for it. With exceptions, successing tennis players come from families that can afford it. I have seen that tennis in USA is more expensive than in other countries. Private lessons are about $50 per hour and that is a lot of money in a month.
    About cheating, I think that juniors are forced by their parents to win wathever the price. Those kids "have" to win.
    Sorry for my english but this topic is very sensible to me.

  5. #5
    Hello Jkoifman,

    First off, there's nothing wrong with your English. You're doing just fine. Everything in the USA is expensive, that's for sure. If you don't have the money, you can forget it, whether you have the talent or not. A lot of people would rather take the money over talent, which is idiodic in a sense because if you have a more talented player, in the long run, you can bring in lots of money. But many people don't think this way. It's a now for now situation. Some of those young kids have so much pressure put on them. A lot of them in the juniors hardly make it to the pros. Or they'll have so much ups and downs in their lives that no one will ever have a clue.

    It would be nice if the world started to do the right things for the right reasons and not looking at their child as a money machine, but as a true athlete, seeing them as somebody who is a true champion. Of course, all of the other stuff falls in line such as money, sponsors, commercials, you name it. Then everybody will be hounding that child down. I can more appreciate someone who can see the natural ability in a child and sponsor him or her with knowing that they will reap what they sow. But at the same time, not put a bunch of pressure on them. Sometimes too much pressure will make someone collapse. This is not just true for a child, but anyone if you don't have a strong will. This goes on every day.

    Of course, as you can see from my last post, I agree that sometimes the parents are the worst ones. Win at any cost, that's the attitude that they are taught. As I said, they are creating some monsters out here or kids who are going to fall into serious depression.
    Last edited by PowerfulOne; 08-22-2006 at 04:37 PM.

  6. #6
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    Very good topic, very well written,but it is little bit oversimplified because tennis is just one segment of the life (life as such is more complex), and as is there the same is here when certain situation is not regulated natural laws apply.In tennis a lot of things are not under control so there is lot of space for natural laws to be applied.

    I will give examples of player¨s abuse (by parents, coaches, referees, tennis officials), but I will try to explain why this happens.

    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerfulOne View Post
    I admire the parents who have protected their kids from the environment that currently exists and ones that teach them morals and values. This area is lacking big time.

    There are a couple of pros too that I admire who work hard and deserve so much more than they are getting. Hopefully at some point in time the crooked system will change and we may see more and more talented and well-deserved players out there. I can't blame the kids, I blame the adults who are raising monsters.

    PowerfulOne
    I agree with you completely.I would like too that in tennis work only moral and good human beings (parents, coaches, tennis officials,referees), and if there the ones who are not like that be eliminated by well organized system.This is not the case in today¨s tennis, and I do not think it will ever be, but I think as a rule can be used that the better organized nacional tennis federation the less abuse.

    In next articles I will give some examples of abuse by tennis officials, tennis parents, tennis coaches, and tennis referees.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    All these examples I witnessed or I was part of it so they are from first hand experience.

    In 1995. to me came father of 7 who has had two of his daughters playing tennis.The father had not much time for his children because he was too much in business, and before me these two girls were taking lessons by the coach whose motto was hard work, and discipline.
    Older girl was 9, and younger 6.Older girl competed in tournaments under 10, but she was in very bad shape technically so she could not do a thing.
    When they came to me, first I noticed that they were under enormous stress;especially the older one.It was so tremendeous stress that it had repercusions on her physical health;the older one could not breath properly.Their father was all in business so he noticed nothing.I knew that before even trying to teach and correct her tennis technique (by the way it was terrible) I had to relax her in some way and minimaze the stress.At the beginning, half of the lesson we would spend first walking, and later jogging around the court.Her breathing (it was actual chocking) normalized little by little.Once, when she was relaxed enough, we started to correct already learned technique.One year later she was number three in under 10 in the city.

    What happened to them while they were with the other coach?Later on when she trusted me enough, she told me that her first coach abused her physically hitting her with the ball, and with the foot in her butt.He demandedd more and more, and gave nothihg so he produced ebormous stress which manifested itself physically by chocking.
    Later on, I learned that aiming balls at children was his routine.Once, he sent one boy home by himself to punish him for his poor performance.The problem was that the boy did not know the way to his home because it was always picked up by his parents.

    How come that this coach acted so poorly?This is all he knew!He was not tennis competitor, he has not had good general education, he has not had special tennis education, he knew nothing about psychology,pedagogy teaching techniques.He tried to cover all his definciencies with "hard work and discipline" read abuse.
    Here, is very important role of parents who should not accept any kind of children abuse in exchange for promise that a child will one day reach stardom.Her farher was too preoccupied with business , and too uninterested to pay any attention to his children.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:33 PM.

  9. #9
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    As I said I will give few examples of coaches/parents abuse, and then I will try to explain why it happens.

    In 1995. came to me father of a girl who wanted her to become competitor.Parents were born in Croatia, and later on have gone to Germany where they work.For last year mother and daughter because of daughter¨s tennis were in Croatia.The daughter was taking lessons from "the most famous tennis coach in Croatia".Father saw me work with some children similar age and decided to change this, so I became daughter¨s coach.
    First thing which I noticed when I took over was that this "the most famous tennis coach in Croatia" (by the way he works from time to time as instructor for ITF in tennis exotic countries) was stalling :in other words abusing parents¨s trust and lack of knowledge (only mother was with a child) by not teaching a child as he supposed to(a child was 10 years old at the time, and for one year just played tennis between service lines) on one hand, and making fool of the mother and child on the other.The later I did not notice right away because at first I thought that it happens by accident.Every time when this girl would miss a shot she would:call herself bad name, or pull her hair or hit her head with her fist.At first I really could not believe that she was taught it (conditioned response).I knew a lot of stories about "our best tennis coach", but I would never think that he was capable of such abuse.He was paid very well, did not teach anything, and abused the child.Mother (I guess the father too) were supportive of this kind of abusive behaviour because that tennis coach was prime tennis authority for them.
    I needed 3 month to stop this kind of self abusive behaviour.The girl stayed with me for 2 and half years, then she got sponsorship, and have gone to Germany.Her best ranking was 214 WTA.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    I think that 'abusive parents' is more to be focused on then 'abusive coaches' as children completely live around their parents more then they do their coach, despite the fact that their coach he a major influence on their tennis life/career.

    Im not sure if anyone heard about this story but I read it somewhere a while back,
    A young girl started playing tennis at a very young age, however had to stop because of her parents financial state. Soon her father became a alcaholic and her mother began gambling. One day, surprisingly, her mother won a lot of money from the lottery and they decided that they'd let their daughter continue tennis so that'd she become a proffesional and they'd take her money (You most likely figured that her parents aren't very good people). But after not playing for years the girl wasn't playing very well so after every lesson, if her father wasn't satisfied with her standard of play, he'd hit her with the racket until she was covered in bruises.

    You see, I don't think that the coach would ever go as far as a parent could go. The coach could 'verbally' attack the child but a parent could do both as they pleased.

  11. #11
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    This is very important issue in tennis to which is paid too little attention.It is not black and white, and it is full of contraversies which I will discuss later.
    First, I would like to describe few more cases of abusive behaviour from tennis coach toward tennis player.

    One of the best German tennis players was coached by Spaniard who was paid by German sportwear company.
    In Marocoo in 2003 that girl played professional tournament.She lost, and during the match she missed an easy overhead smash.After the match, Spaniard took her to one of the practice courts, and made her hit 100 good overheads in the row.When she would miss one, she would start from beginning.They stayed 4 and half hours on the court before she hit right 100 overheads in the row.

    My opinion:
    First, my coaching phylosophy is that player has to grow in tennis as well as a human being.I am the leader, but my tennis player is my partner, and encourage him/her to ask question , explore, come to conclusion in other words to think.There are coaches who like very obedient players.Players without personality.That was case with Spaniard and German tennis player.

    German tenis player had to say no because:
    - it is nonsense to hit 100 overheads in the row (overhead is not so important stroke)
    - it is nonsense to work on any shot for 4 and half hours after tennis match
    - player has to differ between what is necessary and what is torture

    That German girl after breaking up with Spaniard had to give up tennis completely to recover mentally and physically.She is back, but many who underwent the same treatment were not.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:34 PM.

  12. #12
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    Reading one of the posts written by WorldTT I got carried away.At first, I got too excited like a little child.This should not happen to me anymore considering my age and experience in tennis, but it does.It happens because I would like that coaching (tennis, conditioning, mental) becomes better.Obviously this is wishful thinking.In any segment there are few quality professionals.The same apply in tennis, too.

    On one hand you hear every coach saying that he will make champion out of your child (even if your child is so uncoordinated to have difficulty with running).Every parent likes this music.Be aware.In tennis there are many coaches, but just few of them are quality coaches.How come?Even, if I would not have experience I have I could come to this conclusion just by taking into account how many good players there are in the world compared to the number of players who play tennis.Very few, too.Problem is that parents are rarely rational, mostly emotional about their children, and are not able to notice so obvious things.They like better if someone tells them that his child is great potential, and if that person is the tennis authority they are in paradise.Problem is with awakening which will come sooner or later.

    This is story of one of these cases.

    One coach/father coached his son, and another child whose father had a lot of money.His child has been always among the best in his age group, played international tournaments (he is still playing and has reached best ranking 92 ATP).The other was not motivated for tennis, but his father had ambitions.The coach coached his son, and kept the other boy with because his father paid all the bills.So, when they were 13 years old, the coach proposed to boy¨s father that it would be good to go to the world famous tennis academy in the world, the one in Florida.The father accepted the ides whole heartedly.They spent there few month (coach with his son, and the father with his son).The coach¨s son was put in the best group, and the father¨s son in Y group (worst one).They recognize that father has money, so even they put him in the worst group (in this group the boy was winning 6/0,6/0), at the end of their stay there, they (not just some coaches, but the famous director himself)told the father that his son is very talented, and has great potential, and it is just matter of time when it will come out.

    When father and his son came back home, father was sure that the boy will play unbelievable tennis (before the trip to Florida he could not get through qualifications in his age group).Nothing happened.The boy still could not pass qualifications.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:34 PM.

  13. #13
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    One day the father of that boy came to me, and asked me if I would test his son.I did, and noticed that the boy is coordinated, but unmotivated, and technically and physically ill prepared.The boy played tennis because of his father (he got his own benefits), not because he liked it.I told the father the truth, and there is no way that his boy will play any better.The father did not believe me because the director of the most famous tennis academy in the world told him that his boy will show his talent , and that it is just matter of time.The father did not take into account that this director actually made fool of him, by not telling him the truth about his son tennis.This famous director was just interested in this father¨s money;he cared less for his son¨s tennis.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 07-15-2009 at 12:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    Few month later, the father came again.By now, he was aware that all the most famous tennis director and tennis coach told him was lie, and nothing but the lie.I told him again that his son¨s technique was so bad that he has to change it to make any progress whatsoever, and that I have to take him completely apart, and start everything from scratch.It was even more difficult because the boy had to unlearn all the wrong things, and replace them with right staff.It was extremely complex (as I said earlier the boy was unmotivated on one hand, and physically ill prepared on the other hand).It took us two years to do it.At the end of this period he started to show results in competition too.He was able to pass qualifications, and sometimes first round in the tournaments of his age group.It was remarkable achievement.Really unbelievable.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:35 PM.

  15. #15
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    I was very glad, and proud of myself that I achieved something so unbelievable.The boy was playing better and better, because now he had the essence of tennis to build on.His results progressed so much that through qualifications he played in national championship in his age group.I was well aware that he cannot become one of the best players in his age group because of subjective things (he still did not have inner motivation), and objective things (he already wasted too much time)so I proposed to his father that now when he was on right track he does not need to practice so much.I said that it will be enough that he practice once a day, and he will progress all the time , and be able to play an average tennis in his age group.

    Suddenly, everything changed.The father who was very grateful to me after being ripped off by previous coach and the most famous tennis academy in the world, now become overly ambitious.No more no less he wanted that his sons plays as good as the son (who was among the best two in his age group and already internationaly recognized) of his former tennis coach.I said that this is impossible.I told him that I cannot do that, but nobody in the world could do it.He told me that I just say how much and he will pay.I said once more tha it is not matter of money;it is just impossible.He tried to convince me by giving me an example how he bought his Mercedes Benz which was parked next to the tennis court.He said that he went to Germany, and in one car dealership he saw the car he liked, that he asked how much is it, that he paid and the car is now here.

    I told him that this is not the same, but he did not want to listen.


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 08-08-2009 at 12:35 PM.

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